Of Mice and Men

Topics: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck Pages: 5 (1773 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a story about two men named George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression that show a dream, no matter how impossible to obtain, can forge friendship and give meaning to life. The story takes place South of Soledad, California in the 1930’s. Steinbeck picked the name "Of Mice and Men" based on a poem by Robert Burns. Titled "To a Mouse," the poem has a line stating, “The best laid place of mice and men often go awry”. Steinbeck felt it was the perfect description for his latest book. It perfectly summed up the difficulties the men had throughout the book. Mice refers to weak people, such as the characters Lennie, Crooks, and Candy, and men refers to strong people, like George and Slim. The novel is written in third-person the author never tells what any of the characters are thinking, except in the last chapter for some reason when Steinbeck describes the imaginary talking rabbit and the remembered Aunt Clara, who appear to Lennie in his imagination. Some of the themes included in this work are The American Dream, loneliness, friendship, innocence, discrimination and social protest. The theme of The American Dream is that everyone has a dream they are after, and the thought is contagious. George and Lennie both have a very strong dream of living in their own house and have their own land without having someone bossing them around. They want to be independent and treated as an equal. When Candy hears of this dream George and Lennie have, he too wants to be a part of it and offers to help out on the expenses of the land. Crooks the black man who lives in the barn of on his own learns of the dream and wants to be a part of it because he no longer whats to be alone. Another theme is loneliness and friendship while most of the workers on the rancher are lone souls who have nothing else in their life, George and Lennie have a very strong and complete friendship. They keep each other in mind at all times and are two halves to a person. George states that what him a Lennie have is really special “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world...They got no family. They don't belong no place...With us, it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us..." Social Protest is a underlying theme of this novel and can be connected to the time frame of The Great Depression. At that time society was extremely difficult to succeed in and basically the farmhands were doomed to working and earning just enough to get by. The workers are basically disposable and do not any reaping benefits from their work. Their is a cynical undertone in the novel because of the depressing state of all the workers. Their is also discrimination within this novel. "Crooks obviously illustrates one aspect of racial predudice. He reads books, is intelligent, and, like any human being, needs warmth and companionship. Yet he is denied these, not because of any inherent fault, but because he is a negro." (Source: "York Notes on 'Of Mice and Men'", Longman) The novel really incorporates the feel of the state of the common working man during The Great Depression and makes the reader very aware of how significant and rare good friendship was during those times. George and Lennie show a connection that hints at the sparks of true happiness and show unconditional love for a fellow friend. Steinbeck creates a real sense of friendship and show how much it means for another man to not just care about himself, but to stand up for someone else.

In this passage, John Steinbeck uses descriptive languages and some literary devices to describe the fighting scene between Lennie and Curly in realistic tone showing the scene as the way it is. Through this scene, Steinbeck’s intention to explain the harmony of coexistence and the companionship between Lennie and George is described. Even though, this whole novel is...
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